Sotomayor wins SVL 2-y-o finale
THE grey SOTOMAYOR floored the odds on the previously unbeaten filly SHE'S A MANEATER to win the 105th running of the Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes over a mile - the final leg of the Supreme Ventures Triple Crown series for native bred two-year-olds, at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Installed as 3-1 second favourite after finishing second to SHE'S A MANEATER in race two of the series, the Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy over 1400 metres on November 26, SOTOMAYOR, with Linton Steadman riding for trainer Anthony "Baba" Nunes, ran on strongly in mid-stretch to catch and beat 1-5 favourite SHE'S A MANEATER under leading jockey Omar Walker by a length in a field of 11.
This prevented the Wayne DaCosta-trained SHE'S A MANEATER from becoming only the second two-year-old to sweep the three-race series, a feat accomplished by the unbeaten PRINCESS POPSTAR in 2013.
SOTOMAYOR was held off the early pace in fifth as the DaCosta-trained MR. UNIVERSE (31-1) led comfortably from MONEY MAGNET (7-1) and SHE'S A MANEATER chasing as a team passing the half mile.
MR. UNIVERSE, with Orlando Foster aboard, turned for home two lengths clear of SHE'S A MANEATER on the outside and MONEY MAGNET on the inside, but by then SOTOMAYOR had moved within striking distance on the outside.
Under a torrid right hand stick from Steadman, SOTOMAYOR caught up with the new leader SHE'S A MANEATER midway the last furlong, gaining the ascendancy in the closing stages for a decisive win.
MONEY MAGNET under top apprentice Bebeto Harvey finished another five lengths away third, with MR UNIVERSE in fourth.
Nunes was perhaps the happiest man at Caymanas Park, with SOTOMAYOR having defied the odds by turning the tables on his old rival.
"I am elated, but I knew that Sotomayor was improving at a rapid rate and having worked impressively and the cheek pieces fitted for this race, felt he had a good chance of winning now stepping up to a mile.
"The plan was to have him earlier in the pace and he was never far off entering the straight. I knew then that his turn of foot would prove decisive late in the race and looking ahead, is one for the classics in 2017," said Nunes, who despite failing to beat DaCosta for the trainers' title, enjoyed a marvellous season.
This included previous big race wins in the derby (ORPHEUS), St. Leger, Lotto Classic and Superstakes with BIGDADDYKOOL.
SOTOMAYOR is a grey colt by Traditional out of Runaway Julie, co-owned by David Miller and the Trinidadian Stephan Narinesingh and bred by HAM Stables Limited. This was his second win from five starts.
Claiming apprentice Anthony Thomas highlighted the Boxing Day card with three winners, including the free-running SMART BIDDER at 25-1 for trainer Albert Chong in the closing race for $180,000 claimers.
Back to form jockey Prince "Daggerman' Holder rode two winners,while Walker, who is set to be crowned champion jockey, won the third race aboard 1-5 favourite CHO CHOO BLUE for trainer Peter McMaster following a tremendous stretch duel with highly-fancied GARY GLITTER.